Why are more and more companies making products out of wool? What makes it unique from other fibers? And how is merino wool different from regular wool? We talk to Icebreaker’s Josh Vaughan about these questions; wool’s environmental impact; the variety of wool types and how they differ; and he provides some amazingly in-depth insight about wool’s unique properties.
Crosson Skis is a small, new company that’s making some very big claims. So we talk to their founder, Chase Englehart, about the origins of Crosson; what makes their skis different — and better; building skis outside of Seattle; working with athletes like Bobby Brown and Banks Gilberti; and their 19/20 lineup.
How do elite ski racers like Marcel Hirsher, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller, and Daron Rahlves “feel” their gear, and their ski boots in particular? We talk to Matt Manser about this; forward lean; ‘static’ power straps vs. ‘elastic’ Booster Straps; whether WC skiers or WC DH mtn bikers are pickier about their equipment; and more.
Jonathan Ellsworth, Luke Koppa, & Sam Shaheen argue about the new Volkl Mantra 102 and how it compares to the M5 Mantra; discuss with more civility the Line Vision 98; Dalbello Lupo Pro HD ski boot; Camp Nano 22 vs. Orbit Wire carabiners; and close with several extremely random reviews.
Today we’re launching a new series on GEAR:30 called, “Reviewing the Reviewer,” where we’ll ask Blister reviewers questions, then score their answers to determine a cumulative grade for each reviewer. First up, BLISTER managing editor, Luke Koppa. (And ON3P Skis founder, Scott Andrus, wrote in with some bonus questions for Luke, too.)
How much do you actually know about the clothes in your closet, and the stuff we all wear to go play in the mountains? In our new “What You’re Wearing” miniseries, we’re shining a light on the most foundational part of apparel: the fibers. And in part 1, we dive into the world synthetic fibers with Sara Ellis from Gore (the makers of GORE-TEX).
We talk to DPS Skis founder, Stephan Drake, about the new DPS 19/20 product lineup, and two new skis — that incorporate a brand-new DPS construction — they’re introducing for their “Dreamtime” event. Stephan also breaks news about their “Koala” skis, gives an update on the DPS ski boot they’re working on, and shares some new developments with DPS Phantom.
We’re talking again with Atomic Ski Boots product manager, Matt Manser, about the messy world of ski boot flex ratings; the actual differences between some brands’ 120 and 130 rated boot; how Atomic arrives at their own flex ratings; the next areas of innovation that Atomic is focused on, and more.
Ski boots are made of plastic, and different plastics feel and perform very differently from one another. So we get deep into the details with Atomic Ski Boots product manager, Matt Manser, to help you figure out which plastics are used in your ski boots, and the pros & cons & general performance characteristics of different plastics — which will help you understand why you might like or dislike your current boots, and what you ought to be looking for in your next pair.
Sam Shaheen and Luke Koppa discuss mind-boggling new technologies like titanium-coated fibres; inventive sustainability stories involving recycled medical supplies; and the noteworthy trends — both good and bad — that they saw this week at the OR show.
Things kind of go off the rails in our latest GEAR:30 episode, with topics ranging from the ON3P Woodsman 108, K2 Mindbender 99Ti, new ski boots, and heat-moldable hiking shoes, to very contentious debates about Hard Seltzer, energy bar flavors, and Smashburger.
GPS communication devices can be the difference between life and death in remote places. So we talk with Bivy’s Pitt Grewe about the different types of technology and devices on the market; how these devices can affect decision making; satellite networks; complicated payment plans; and … Pitt’s impressive skills as a DJ.
Last Saturday, Sam Shaheen skied three different lines in one day on the Colorado 14er, Torrey’s Peak. Jonathan Ellsworth sits down with Sam to discuss the details of this “Torrey’s Peak Triple Crown”; the ‘D-Scale’ of rating ski descents; the gear, apparel, and food he used on the mountain; and the safety and decision-making process throughout the day.
Jonathan Ellsworth talks about testing the ON3P Woodsman 108 and Black Crows Navis while heli skiing with Eleven Experience in Iceland, and Sam Shaheen and Luke Koppa talk about their time on the Volkl Mantra 102 & Revolt 121, Faction Candide 5.0, and more.
Supercapacitors, Venturi valves, and scary-high currents — this week we discuss airbag design and technology with Black Diamond’s Director of Design Engineering.
This week we talk to Patagonia’s senior material developer, Pasha Whitmire, about how Patagonia designs, develops, and tests their technical fabrics; myths surrounding waterproof / breathable materials; why the future of fabric development lies in sustainability; the advantages and disadvantages of working with big names like Gore-Tex; and a whole lot more outerwear geekery.
Near-death experiences, avalanche airbags, and changing risk tolerance — this week on GEAR:30 we talk to mountain guide and Mammut’s safety expert, Doug Workman, about life and survival in the mountains.
Avalanche beacons might not be sexy, but their proper use and design can be the difference between life and death. So we sat down with BCA’s co-founder, Bruce Edgerly, to talk about avalanche transceiver design, backcountry safety research, and the most important — yet often overlooked — aspects of a rescue.
Sam Shaheen, Kristin Sinnott, and Jonathan Ellsworth talk about some of their favorite new skis, then — in what might be our most anticipated review ever — Sam Shaheen gives us his honest, in-depth, pretty hilarious, and surprisingly insightful take on the dating app, Tinder.
Trends, Favorite Gear, and Most / Least Durable Products, with Eric Helmbrecht of Powder Hound AK (Ep.41)
Alaska is a place where your gear really needs to hold up. So we talk to Eric Helmbrecht, owner of Powder Hound Ski Shop in Girdwood Alaska, about the trends he’s seeing in skiing and snowboarding; the gear with the most & least durability issues; some of his favorite gear; and more.
We’ve been inundated at HQ with new apparel from Patagonia, Mammut, Flylow, Sole, and much more in the past few weeks. Sam Shaheen and Luke Koppa recently sat down to do their favorite thing — geek out on new apparel.
We talk to Prior’s head snowboard and ski shaper, Dominic Morin, about the origins of Prior, their philosophy of ski and snowboard shaping, their craziest designs, their new shapes for 19/20, and the legacy of Chris Prior.
We talk new skis from Line, Nordica, 4FRNT, and J Skis. Also, I share my change of heart over light skis, Luke and Sam discuss their new article on caring for your outerwear, and we give a sneak peek for our upcoming and very intimate episode of GEAR:30.
We just wrapped up our time at the Outdoor Retailer / SIA trade show, so five of us sat down to discuss the most interesting trends we saw, the products we were most tempted to steal, and more.
Are you one of the many people who has wished that your ski boots were a bit stiffer or more comfortable? Well then listen up, because, the bootfitters at Pulse Boot Lab in Revelstoke have come up with a number of innovative ways to achieve both.